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1960s / Dick Contino - Master Accordionist
Dick Contino, THE legendary virtuoso of the accordion, got his start with Horace Heidt, back in December, 1946, when he appeared on the first Horace Heidt-Phillip Morris radio broadcast. By 1948, he launched a solo career and never looked back. I can't say the accordion is one of my favorite instruments, but in the capable hands of Mr. Contino, it's easy to see why he was (and continues to be) a sensation and the reason so many kids in the 1950's felt inspired to play that instrument. This cut - Lady of Spain - may be his most famous (or is that infamous-?) as this song was often used as the brunt of jokes when discussing the accordion. Perhaps, but one listen and you can understand why Dick caused such a sensation. He certainly did for one member of this audience who was apparently overcome by sheer accordion shock and bliss. At around 1:20, there's a decided shriek of delight-? heard above the applause. It just doesn't get any better...